As an employer, are you concerned that financial worry is impacting members of your team – including their happiness and productivity?
You’re not alone, and not the first employer to think about how financial stress can have an impact in the workplace. In fact, according to the FCA’s Financial Lives Survey 2017 (1), 4.1million people are failing to pay bills or credit commitments, and only 35% of those between 45-54 are prepared for retirement.
For as long as people having been buying and selling things, money has always been a large part of life. If we earn money, we have the means to enjoy and achieve the things that are important to us – whether it’s treating ourselves to a shopping trip or a holiday (our ‘wants’), or covering the smaller day-to-day expenses, such as buying food, insurance and childcare (our ‘needs’).
While money worries are nothing new, thanks to the ever-growing spotlight on employee wellbeing over the last few years, many employers are committed to supporting their staff with a more holistic approach to overall health and wellbeing. Financial support forms a key part of this overarching approach, and it can produce valuable results for both the individual and the business.
A lot of the time, financial troubles aren’t a direct result of not budgeting properly or spending more than our means (though for some, this is absolutely the case). Instead, they can be from unwanted and unexpected financial events, for example the car breaking down and needing costly repairs – vital in making sure the commute to work is possible. And this worry can often be brought into the workplace, impacting on happiness, concentration levels, motivation, and ultimately productivity.
With some employers not able to financially reward their employees in terms of pay rises or bonuses, there are a variety of alternative options that they can use to recognise and support their teams from a financial perspective. These include…
- Employee Assistance Programmes | Though they’ve been around since the 1970s, this type of service is easily implemented and cost-effective, and what’s more, it’s useful for the whole team. It can be used by those who want to talk about their financial problems – as well as those worried about a wide range of other events in their lives, such as bereavements, relationships, and wellbeing. It allows an individual to talk to someone independently in a completely confidential manner, with specialist advice and guidance about any troubles that they might be dealing with outside work.
- Incentives & Discount Schemes | Another popular option that’s open to all the team is discounts on purchases and exclusive offers. All you need to do is partner with a specialist provider and your team can start using them straight away – from cinema tickets and holidays, to fashion, car insurance and fitness facilities. At Paycare, we’re thrilled to offer Paycare Perks to all our Policyholders exclusively – so do take advantage of the wide range of discounts and rewards we have available!
- Goal Setting | Team goal setting sessions can motivate and inspire your teams and will also help them to understand what financial goals they’ll need to set to achieve these. It’s also a great way to understand what’s important to your teams and their aspirations both professionally and personally.
- Education & Skills Workshops | Having professionals come in to the business to talk about specific subjects is another way to enthuse and education your team – from customer service and time management, to heath and fitness. Financial sessions could cover things like emergency fund saving, budgeting and pensions.
- Affiliate Partnerships | Or, it could be worth exploring the possibility of partnering with organisations which share a similar commitment and belief in protecting the welfare of staff and the community. At Paycare, we decided to work closely with Wolverhampton Credit Union to enable our employees to benefit from flexible savings, as well as access to affordable and ethical loans, while their teams have access to our wide range of everyday Health Cash Plans.
During the whole of February, we’ll be talking all about financial wellbeing, so do keep updated or join in the conversation with us on Twitter @Paycare
FCA | https://www.fca.org.uk/publications/research/understanding-financial-lives-uk-adults